What Are Totem Animals?

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What Are Totem Animals?
Contributor
Self

Totem animals are very prominent in Native American traditions and each holds significant spiritual meaning.

Totem animals have more recently filtrated outside of their communities to our own knowledge and interests. 

Not only do these animals act as our spiritual guides throughout our whole lives, but they provide a significant amount of self-discovery and unveil the meaning of our true self. 

What is a totem animal? 

Totem animals also play a pivotal role in understanding and interpreting events from our past that may have gone unnoticed. 

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You might be wondering how and why totem animals are meaningful to you, and you're probably just as confused as I was when I first discovered the long list of animals and their meanings. 

To truly understand this spiritual practice, we must first uncover how totem animals have played a direct role in Native American life. 

Totem Animals & Naming Ceremonies 

Native American tribes would change the names of their children throughout the entirety of their lives. 

They believed that everyone's name needed to change during each stage of life based on their experiences and accomplishments. 

For example. if a child was very playful, their totem name would be Aleshanee. 

Once the child grows into adolescence, their name would change, and so on. 

If someone felt a strong connection with a specific animal(s) or saw the animal(s) in their dreams frequently, this might be a hint of who your totem animal group is and what your name would be during that period. 

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Why Are Totem Animals Important For Me?

Even if you are not from a Native American tribe or have any lineage to them, this does not mean you do not have a group of animals guiding you through life and pushing you in the right direction!

It may feel overwhelming to engage with the very notion that an animal is helping you find your balance in the world.

However, this same concept is the reason why many of us find comfort in knowing who in fact is helping us steer the ship. 

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For example, maybe you always come across butterflies no matter where you are; you might even remember having dreams of them too. 

This is probably not a coincidence! Butterflies are symbolic of metamorphosis, or the ever-changing spirit of life.

What does this mean for you?

Well, you may be a person who is constantly evolving themselves into their higher self, always constant in their walk toward their goals, and you might even be looked at by others as a sign that change is inevitable. 

No matter who you are or what level you are in life, totem animals are here to elevate you into becoming the master of your own destiny. 

Let's face it, who wouldn't want some of our favorite animals cheering us on every day?

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List Of Totem Animals And Their Meanings 

There are hundreds if not thousands of totem animals but today we are going to briefly list the most important and intriguing ones in our opinion. 

Alligator: Quickness, great survival instincts, maternal 

Bee: Industrial, productive, sweet

Cobra: Deceitful, full of energy, swift 

Dolphin: Playful, deep emotions, happy 

Elephant: Loyalty, family-oriented, wisdom 

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Flamingo: Flirtatious, open-minded, people person 

Gorilla: Protector, peacemaker, family-oriented 

Hippopotamus: Power, emotional depth, family-oriented 

Lizard: Self-protective, hidden defenses, shrewdness  

Moose: Headstrong, longevity, steadfast 

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Octopus: Intelligent, great camouflage, nocturnal 

Panther: Protector, cautious, multi-dimensional 

Quail: Teamwork, protector, courageous 

Rat: Scavenger, intelligent, goal-driven 

Salmon: Rebirth, determined, intense

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Turtle: Nurturer, shy, strong

Whale: Wisdom, aware, navigator 

There are tons of reasons why anyone should discover their totem animal. 

You should be listening to them when they appear in real life or in the dream world.

Each animal holds a special spiritual meaning that will help you better understand your life and what you can do to become the best version of yourself!

RELATED: What It Means If You Dream Or See A Ladybug

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Destiny Duprey is a writer who covers astrology, spirituality, love and relationships topics.